Fundamentals of Government

Public Employees Leadership Institute
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Modules

1. Federal Government
2. State Government
3. Iowa’s Legislative Process
4. Iowa’s Agencies & Interaction
5. County Structure
6. Legislative Powers & Interaction – County
7. City Organizational Structure
8. Legislative Powers & Interaction – City
9. Comprehensive Example – Bridge Inspection
10. Comprehensive Example – Stormwater Runoff


This course examines the organization, operation, and interaction of branches of government at the federal, state, and local levels. The legislative process in each results in laws, regulations, policies and guidelines that may greatly affect local public works operations. The judicial and executive branches independently provide the system of checks and balances that are the foundation of our government system. Understanding those processes which are involved at all three levels is the first step for individuals to positively impact the final laws and regulations and to assure that they are the best for society as possible. Knowing and building personal relationships with legislators along with making your willingness to share your knowledge with others during the subcommittee/committee portion of the law making process can help direct final results into a meaningful and useful law.

Skills are developed by knowing

  • The legislative delegates from your district
  • The legislative process of each body
  • The current status of a bill as it progresses
  • The policies for adopting regulations needed for new laws

Once completed, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the concept of government relations
  • Understand their role in the legislative and regulatory process
  • Identify that adequate funding and resources for public works is dependent on these processes
  • Understand how federal, state, and local governments work together to provide public works services

Key Concepts:

  • Local, State and Federal Governments Operations
  • Laws ⇒ Regulations ⇒ Policies ⇒ Guidelines affect us all
  • Importance of individual participation in making laws
Instructors

Position
Director; Office of Policy and Legislative Services


Education
Degree from Iowa State University


Experience
Began work with the Iowa State Highway Commission in 1972. Following assignments in the Highway Division, Planning Division, and Railroad Division, he accepted a position with the Director’s Staff, now the Office of Policy and Legislative Services. Currently serves as the Department’s liaison with our Congressional Delegation, providing updates and analysis of current and emerging transportation issues, federal activities and programs.


Institute course(s)
Fundamentals of Government

Position
Administrator of Workforce and Succession Planning; Operations and Finance Division; Iowa Department of Transportation


Education
Graduate of the University of Northern Iowa
MA in Public Administration; Drake University
National certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources
Certified Public Manager


Experience
Kate Murphy is the Administrator for Leadership Development and Continuous Improvement for the Iowa DOT, and serves in their Performance & Technology Division. A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration/PublicPolicy from Drake University, Kate is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and a Certified Public Manager. Kate is the Past Vice President of Bras for the Cause, a non-profit dedicated to eradicating breast and cervical cancer in Iowa.


Professional affiliations
5th year on the Board of Directors of Children and Families of Iowa; currently President-Elect


Institute course(s)
Fundamentals of Government

Position
Marshall County Engineer, Marshall County, Iowa (retired 2010)


Education
Was Marshall County Engineer for over 31 years until he retired in 2010. Previously served another 10 years in other counties.


Experience
Iowa County Engineers Association
National Association of County Engineers (past president)


Institute course(s)
Fundamentals of Government
Resource Management Skills

Charlie is a native of Cedar Falls, Iowa who received his BS in Civil Engineering in 1993 from Iowa State University, Ames, IA. From 1993-1999, he worked as a design engineer and project manager for TranSystems Corporation in Kansas City, MO. From1999-2003, he worked as the Urban Projects Engineer in the Office of Local Systems for the Iowa Department of Transportation. He served in the position of Deputy Director in that office from 2003-2008 and in 2008 was promoted to Director of the Office of Local Systems.


Institute course(s)
Fundamentals of Government

Position
Woodbury County Engineer; Woodbury County, Iowa


Education
BS in Civil Engineering; Iowa State University
Licensed as a professional engineer in Iowa and Michigan


Experience
Mark Nahra earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University in May 1984. He is a licensed as a professional engineer in Iowa and Michigan. Since graduation from ISU, he has over 30 years of experience working for county government. He has been Woodbury County Engineer since January 1, 2009 following nine years as Delaware County Engineer, a position he held since December 1999. Prior to this, Mark was Assistant Linn County Engineer-Administration and Engineering from May 1998-December 1999, Cedar County (Iowa) Engineer from 1989 to 1998, Project Engineer for the Genessee County Highway Commission in Flint, Michigan in 1989, and Assistant Benton County Engineer from May 1984 to December 1988. Mark is a member of the Iowa County Engineers Association. He serves on several committees in the county engineer’s association including the County Engineer’s Executive Board. Mark serves on as an associate delegate for the National Association of County Engineers NCUTCD committee and as a member of the NACE Emergency Management Committee. Mark is a former county engineer member of the Iowa Highway Research Board and completed his second term on the IHRB in 2012. He chaired the IHRB during his first term in 1995. Mark also served on three TRB standing committees, three Low Volume Road Conference planning committees and one NCHRP advisory committee that wrote a synthesis report about the effect of energy production expansion on low volume roads. He is a member of and chairs the Farm to Market Review Board and wrote the Iowa Administrative Code Chapter that serves as the official rules by which this state board functions. He has chaired this committee since its inception in 1998. This board is responsible for reviewing all farm to market road classifications statewide.


Professional affiliations
Member of the Iowa County Engineers Association (currently TRB rep)
Member of the Iowa Highway Research Board
Member and chair of the Farm to Market Review Board


Institute course(s)
Fundamentals of Government

Position
Public Works Director / City Engineer; City of Council Bluffs


Education
BS in Civil Engineering; University of Nebraska
MS in Public Administration; University of Nebraska at Omaha


Experience
Greg Reeder has resided in Newton, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Ames before finally settling in southwest Iowa. He and his wife Carol have two grown children, Emily and Andy. Carol is a dietician at Jennie Ed hospital. He has worked with the City of Council Bluffs since 1986. He started as City Engineer and served in that capacity until 2005 when he served as both City Engineer and Public Works Director. These duel responsibilities ended in 2010 when his job title became Public Works Director Greg has a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska and a Masters degree in Public Administration from Nebraska at Omaha. Prior to working for the city, Greg was a structural engineer for five years with HDR’s architectural division in Omaha. Greg was a participant in the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Council Bluffs program in 1994. Greg is a past president of the Grenville Dodge Chapter of the Iowa Engineering Society. In 2002, he was recognized with a distinguished service award from that state organization. He served on the executive board of the Iowa chapter of the American Public Works Association for six years including a term as the President of that organization. He continues to be active in that organization.


Professional affiliations
Grenville Dodge Chapter of the Iowa Engineering Society (past president) Iowa Chapter of the APWA (past president)


Institute course(s)
Fundamentals of Government

Position
Office Manager; HGM Associates, Inc. (retired)


Experience
Previously Public Works Director for the City of Fort Dodge for 5 years, and Public works Director for the City of Council Bluffs for 6 years. Retired from HGM Associates, Inc.


Professional affiliations
Iowa Chapter of the APWA (past president)


Institute course(s)
Fundamentals of Government

Position
Formerly, Marion County Engineer, Marion County, Iowa


Experience
Served 13 years with the City of Des Moines Engineering Staff and 7 years with the Iowa DNR. Was the Marion County Engineer for over 13 years. Has managed several award winning projects.


Professional affiliations
Member of the Iowa County Engineers Association
Member of the National County Engineers Association
Member of the American Public works Association
Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers
Named Government Civil Engineer of the Year in 2008 by the Iowa Section of ASCE


Institute course(s)
Basic Management Skills
Fundamentals of Government
Finance

Position
Retired Deputy Public Works Director, City of Des Moines, Iowa


Education
BS in Industrial Sciences; University of Minnesota
MS in Industrial Safety and Loss Control; University of West Virginia
MS in Public Administration; Drake University


Experience
Worked for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company as a safety consultant in New York. Has worked in the City of Des Moines for 35 years, including as Assistant Employee Relations Director for 4 years, Assistant to the Public Works Director for 14 years. Throughout his career in public service, Pat participated in a number of government mandated programs giving him a unique perspective on the process of implementing federal legislation. He retired as public works director in 2014.


Institute course(s)
Leadership Skills
Fundamentals of Government

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